Marshall: I would welcome President Obama to N.C.

Democratic Senate candidate Elaine Marshall says a trip to her state from President Obama would be "a great thing." But the Democrat didn't exactly endorse a campaign visit from the commander-in-chief. 

Writing on the Huffington Post, Marshall attempted to clarify remarks she made on the Bill Press Show Friday that were reported by The Hill and others

The Democrat, who's facing Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) in the fall, told Press that her campaign was discussing plans for a rally headlined by President Obama but that nothing was set. 

Marshall also floated several other administration names as potential campaign surrogates, including First Lady Michelle Obama and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. 

"We want Robert Gibbs to come to North Carolina, he’s a North Carolina boy," she said. 

Later Friday, Marshall said her comments were "taken a bit out of context and blown up to a bigger story."  

Were Obama to make a trip to the state, Marshall said, "I would take the opportunity to thank him for endorsing legislation that would help small businesses and save 4,500 teacher jobs in North Carolina. I would also speak with him about ending the War in Afghanistan, and how Washington as a whole isn't responding to the needs of ordinary Americans."

She continued: "There is no doubt in my mind that anytime the President comes to our state it is a great thing. I would love to see President Obama come to North Carolina to discuss the issues and talk about what he is doing to try and fix the economy."

"Consider the record straightened," Marshall concluded. 

But for Marshall the original question is still a tough one--would a campaign visit from Obama help? 

While the president won North Carolina in 2008, his current approval rating in the state is underwater. A Rasmussen poll out Friday found 48 percent of likely voters "strongly disapprove" of the president's performance.

Polling shows Marshall within striking distance of Burr--the latest Rasmussen numbers have Burr up 49 percent to 40 percent. 

But the problem for Marshall is with independent voters in the state. A recent survey from Public Policy Polling showed Burr with a 45 percent to 22 percent lead with independents. 

Pollster Tom Jensen noted Friday that when Sen. Kay Hagan defeated Elizabeth Dole in 2008, she won independent voters in the state 48 percent to 44 percent.

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